blogitto ergo sum

March 21, 2011

#173 – My Lifesta is a Startu[p]

the leap from imaginary startup to a real one is not a trivial one.

the true rewards in life come from the act of creation. source: http://startupblog.wordpress.com

In the fall of 2009, when Eran told me that he is not only leaving Sun, but also leaving the valley, it took a huge effort to be supportive, encouraging and happy for him.  Sometimes friendship requires one to put the friend ahead of the one in the friendship.  Eran took off to start-up land and moved to NYC.  Even without the close and personal emotional engagement of those who have built a startup from scratch, with my limited experience + hours of conversations with startup veterans, I can understand the passion and the obsession, the burning desire to be the man that takes this one small step that makes a giant leap.  I’m intrigued, excited, and most importantly, want to be part of it.  I got the bug; have yet to get the guts.

Part of starting a startup is the knowledge and [hopefully] the acknowledgment that even the best idea may fail.  talking to few startuppers, it seems that there is some consensus around Benjamin Tseng’s view:

“… Two years later, I can see all the reasons it was bound for failure, but despite the difficulties, I can honestly say it was one of the most rewarding and educational experiences I’ve ever had. In no other context is it possible to learn so much about management, organization, business model development, marketing/public relations, and execution in one fell swoop.”

BENJAMIN TSENG
[http://www.benjamintseng.com/portfolio/xhibitr/]

After Auntie Chef couldn’t cook, Eran and Yael [Gavish, not me!], without a notebook full of ideas, took long walks, brainstormed a lot and with Julie as the defining use case, lifesta came to life.

It’s tense; it’s stressful and hard to watch.  It’s so exciting.  How often do you get to watch an idea becoming reality, a website moving from zero traffic to the first ten and then 100 and then 1,000?  It’s watching a best friend fathering a baby,

It’s watching a best friend fathering a baby, from the first breath through nourishing him… It was much harder before Lifesta got their funding.  Now the parents breathe better and easier, and so do I.  Grow baby, grow.

Along with being an enthusiastic supporter, well-wisher and a tester, I tried to improve my understanding of the bug, suspecting it’s contagious.  Not having the guts doesn’t mean I don’t have the desire.  So I asked friends who have done it and have the bug, the passion and desire running strong in their system.

Nadav, Founder of WorldMate Inc. who’s WorldMate I happily use and love, moved here from Israel over a year ago. I asked about his view.  He said “Like it or not, there is something noble about going into an entrepreneurship in my mind. It’s about taking your fate in your own hands, about creating the future for you (and your future employees) yourself. Our economy could not survive save for such people. So when someone like Eran, who’s spent a long time in an environment I consider ‘protective and nurturing’ takes the plunge, I always have to applaud.  At the same time, I know so well some of the hardship that he’s bound to endure and doesn’t yet even imagine (in his case he got an inkling with auntiechef.com), so you have to feel a little compassion for him, too.”

Then I asked Jeet.  After two startups, moving back and forth between the relative “safety” of corporate innovation and the 7X21 start-up job, one of Jeet’s comments that got stuck in my head is “when an employee, brilliant as he/she may be, tells me she is leaving my org, there are only 2 reasons that will stop me from trying to persuade the guy to stay; it’s going to a start up and seeking education”.

One of my friends from LANNET was told by his wife that under no circumstances he is allowed even to entertain the idea of joining a start-up.  “We know enough people who started the start-up road and restarted, and restarted and restarted.  Unfortunately, the start-ups didn’t provide the dreamed-of step-up.”

“It’s vetoed, dear husband” she said.

for illustration purpose only

Back to Lifesta.  After 9 months of hard work and an angel, they now have five employees and a San Francisco office.

And the word is out.  See for yourself:

I asked Eran what he has to say about all this.  He shared some thoughts and observations.

“When you work on a project in a big company with a predefined goal, e.g. “build the next version of product X”, you know what you have to build. Success is predefined, and in some cases has nothing to do with how well the product is in the market. You plan, execute and mitigate risks to get to a delivery date.  The person responsible for the delivery and the person responsible for the business success are usually not the same person.

When you start a company, you have no idea what’s going to be on the other side. You’ll start with A Better Toaster(TM), test it on users, pivot multiple time, and end up delivering a website for cat lovers. But if you work hard, are lucky and have the smarts to pivot well, you’ll be successful in delivering a product customers will pay for.

Failure in the first case, i.e. not delivering on time or failing to deliver all the functions, is just a day-to-day part of the second case, where you’ll fail multiple time, keep changing, until you run out of time and money, or you’ll have something worthwhile. Then you get the next round of funding to extend the time you have to keep failing.”

How about succeeding, i wonder. feels so much better.

I’ve started writing this blog over 6 months ago.  If I learned anything about startups since, it’s that in a startup, change of direction, product, plan and everything else… is a given; inevitable, its essence.  Very encouraging, very exciting.  Not for the light of heart. I want it.

Clipart:

Resources:

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2 Comments »

  1. Great article… but there are tones of sites out there doing this. I happen to like using http://www.sellmydeal.com – it’s very user friendly and has a catchy name. Sellmydeal has amazing customer service for when theres an issue with a voucher and a guarantee that the voucher that is purchased is valid or the customer gets their money back. Anyways, nice article.

    Comment by dealsformothers — April 7, 2011 @ 10:16 | Reply

  2. […] Christopher David‘s beta launching next week, i know a part II to #173 – My Lifesta is a Startu[p] is […]

    Pingback by #173a – My Lifesta is a Startu[p] « blogitto ergo sum — May 5, 2011 @ 10:45 | Reply


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